Memories, Part 2
by Mrs. Clark
In an earlier post, I talked about my very early memories of spending time with my mom as she read so many wonderful books to me. It’s time now to mention Dad.
Dad wasn’t one to read much. He read the newspaper every morning and every evening when we had two paper subscriptions and once in a while I would see him reading a western novel. What Dad did was sing to me. He had a beautiful voice and loved any kind of music. He would sing nursery rhymes, country-western songs, ballads, gospel, and rock and roll. He always had a song in his heart.
Singing and chanting nursery rhymes and talking to your child way before than can talk for themselves are ways of introducing literacy skills. Vocabulary is developed. Recognition of rhyming words and of syllables in words is developed. Even sequential order is developed, for songs and nursery rhymes have definite beginnings, middles and ends. I doubt that Dad knew that he was helping me to become a successful reader by singing to me.
The added bonus for me was every Sunday morning when Dad took it upon himself to read me the “funnies” from the newspaper. Known now as the comics, this was my favorite part of the newspaper. There were several large sheets just waiting to be read! Popeye, Dagwood, Little Lulu, and Beetle Bailey were just a few of the characters we read about. We would sit on the porch swing and listen to the birds as we read or we would sit on the porch steps and greet our neighbors in between reading. We would sit in Dad’s big overstuffed and read. For that time, I had my dad’s full attention and he had mine.
Dad is no longer living, but if I am very quiet and if I close my eyes, I can smell his Old Spice After Shave. I can hear his big wrist watch ticking and I can smell his Juicy Fruit Gum that was his favorite. I can remember being curled up next to him and feeling like the most important person in the world. Thanks for the memories, Dad.